BIG Five: Greg Pincus

This term in the Great Hall I have chosen ‘The BIG Five’ – the men who have had a hand in shaping the world in which you will grow up to be very different to that of past generations. In my choices I have aimed to celebrate the relatively unsung heros -so it is quite likely you will not have heard of these very influential figures before.

My first is Greg Pincus, who in the 1960 had a major role in the development of the contraceptive pill. That discovery, along with many other changes in society and the world, transformed the pattern of life for the average person beyond recognition.

Family planning led in large measure to the ability for women to work, transforming the workplace. We had families later and, on average, they were smaller. Later family life means that there are less Grandparents around to nurture the young across generations – indeed just when family life is at its busiest there are also the demands of caring for more elderly parents.

You are far more likely to live back at home after University, marry late or not at all, have a family in your 30’s not your 20’s, work until you are 70 and your children are far less likely to have active grandparents than any previous generation.

It is a huge shift in life patterns started, in part, by the first of the BIG Five, Greg Pincus.

Good luck!